Decreasing teleconnections with inter-site distance in monthly climatic data and tree-ring width networks in a mountainous Alpine area
AUTHOR Christian Rolland (1)
The teleconnections between precipitation series were found to be higher than those observed for temperature over short distances, but the maximum threshold distance was lower (193 km) compared to a positive correlation distance that exceeds 500 km for temperature. The maximum temperatures had stronger teleconnections than minimum values (522 km versus 476 km), since the latter are linked more with other site factors, such as slope, exposure and local topography.
As expected, the tree-ring chronologies showed weaker teleconnections than the climatic series, with a threshold distance of 374 km obtained for all high elevation forests. The coniferous species with high intra-specific teleconnections over large distances were, in decreasing importance, Pinus uncinata (> 500 km), Picea abies (477 km), Pinus cembra (over 254 km) and Larix decidua (over 189 km only). The two former species showed the highest intra-specific correlations (with mean correlation R=0.625 and 0.666). The dendrochronological teleconnections were found to have a extent lesser for trees species that depend on rainfall (such as larch, and stone pine). They are enhanced, however, for temperature sensitive species such as spruce and mountain pine (a drought resistant tree). Therefore, these two latter conifers appear to be especially suitable for climatic reconstruction over large distances in mountainous areas. However, teleconnections within silver fir (Abies alba) and spruce chronologies were sharply reduced (over 131 km and 135 km) in lower elevation forests, underlining the interest of timberline forests for dendroclimatology.
A better knowledge of the spatial correlations in climatic series and ring-width data may enable the optimisation of weather station networks. It may also permit a better choice of weather stations used for dendroclimatology, either for tree-ring and climate relationship calibration or for climate reconstructions. In dendrochronology, wood dating also requires the knowledge of to what extent remote ring-width chronologies can be used.KEY WORDS
(1) Centre de Biologie Alpine, Laboratoire Ecosystèmes Alpins, Université
Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France